Written by Labanya Sikdar
In India, the topic of menstruation comes with a lot of stigmas associated with it. Conversations around the topic are often hushed, and as a result, there exists a huge number of misconceptions around the same. The entire idea comes with its own set of myths.
In India, the silencing around menstruation begins when one walks into a pharmacy to buy menstrual products. From dark coloured plastic bags to opaque covering for the products, the entire process looks nothing short of an illegal mission. Thus, the journey of the myths begins. In this article, we will be exploring the home remedies for health issues related to menstruation and will see if they work.
1) Hot water bags for relieving menstrual cramps
This one, fortunately, works and is not a myth. For some, period pain is bad enough to disrupt their daily life. Menstrual cramps occur when the uterine wall sheds and an excess of prostaglandins are released. This can cause mild to severe pain in the abdomen and lower back.
Majority of menstruators experience this on the first day of their menstrual cycle. Using a hot water bottle helps relieve these cramps. Another alternative for this is taking a warm bath. The heat helps relieve cramps to a great extent.
2) Avoiding exercise as it might cause heavier flow and severe cramps
This is a myth. Although the idea of exercising while experiencing menstrual cramps is not all that appealing, it can go a long way. Instead of sticking to regular workout regimes which may be uncomfortable for some menstruators, one can opt for less strenuous activities.
Exercise helps release endorphins, and they can help a lot in relieving menstrual pain and cramps. Gentle activities like yoga can help with the discomfort and eliminate the need for pain-relief medication altogether.
3) Orgasms can help relieve pain
This works and is not a myth. Although engaging in sexual activity during your period can be quite messy, it can also be rewarding in terms of the discomfort related to menstruation. Orgasms can signal the release of neurotransmitters, like endorphins and oxytocin.
Moreover, physical intimacy also releases dopamine which can help with how we perceive pain. Although having sex during your periods does not exactly eliminate the risk of an unplanned pregnancy, there is a significantly lower chance of it actually occurring. Besides, more natural lubrication can also make sex more pleasurable during this time.
4) Avoiding the kitchen as food is more prone to rotting in the vicinity of a menstruating person
This one is a myth. Although it might seem ridiculous to some people, it is believed by a lot of people. It is of utmost importance to keep in mind that there is no scientific evidence for the same. It is just one of the taboos that mystify the natural process of menstruation. If menstrual hygiene is maintained, there is no evidence of any such thing ever happening. Menstruation is natural and needs to be treated as any other biological process.
There are a lot of home remedies that do work for menstruation-related health issues. However, it is essential to understand how biased ideas keep making their rounds and steering clear of such ideas.
Often, the most effective home remedies may fall short of getting rid of the discomfort that comes with menstruation. This can be a tell-tale sign of more serious underlying health issues. In such cases, one is advised to consult a doctor for an expert opinion. There are a lot of medications that have minimal side-effects but can provide great relief. Menstruation is different for everyone, and there are no one-size-fits-all rules to it. It is only a certified medical professional who can advise if the usual remedies fail to provide relief.